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Parent Tip Series – Stage Fright

More in the series of short videos designed to help parents help their students get more out of their music lessons.

Parent Tip Series – Overcoming Stage Fright

At Otto Percussion Studio we specialize in Drum and Percussion lessons for all ages and abilities. Give us a call or text at 248 783 6520 or send an email to to set up lessons. If you’re local to Lake Orion, Rochester, Troy or the surrounding areas of North Oakland County, MI you can come directly to the studio. If not, we can set up lessons over the great series of tubes known as the internet!

Video Transcript

Hi Facebook, Jeremy Otto from Otto Percussion here to help you help your student get more out of their music lessons. 

It’s recital season here at Otto Percussion Studio and today we’re going to talk about “Stage Fright” because It’s really common to have a student be extremely confident in lessons and at home during practice leading up to their performance and then freeze up on stage. But how do we combat stage fright?

My first professional gig was a standard 3 forty-five minute set bar gig. While nervousness had welled up in me before for some previous performances for school band and the like, it was nothing like the stage fright I felt before this gig; but the show must go on. We hit, and lo and behold about 20 minutes into that first set, I just stopped being nervous. My fight or flight response just eventually had enough and turned off.

Cut to many years later, where I’ve gone back to school for music and I’m playing in my first classical concert since high school. I’m on stage getting set up to play my first notes on the chimes and I’m staring at my involuntarily shaking hand wondering how in the world I’m supposed to hit the right note if I can’t hold my hand steady. This was MUCH worse than the last time I had stage fright.

Because classical percussion does not replicate the constant engagement experience I had at the other gig,I eventually decided the answer was to just perform as often as I could, and that is the suggestion I have for you. Make your student perform often and on a regular basis. And by perform, I don’t mean stand by the basement stairs with the drumset turned the other direction. and I don’t mean just pop your head in their room. Make an event of it. Make them the center of attention. Make them move to a different area, preferably in the central gathering place of your home. Get as many people to watch as possible, Mom, Dad, Siblings, Grandparents, Friends and Neighbors. Make little brother put down the video games and give the “Please set all cell phones to silent” speech. Make sure the performer knows the attention is on them. Put the pressure on. Do this often, like once a week often. 

So how did I really get over stage fright that second time? Well, about three quarters of the way through my ‘play as often as possible’ experiment I ate it, really bad, on a really well known piece, in a solo performance, in front of a large group of music school students and faculty.  My stage fright didn’t go completely away after that performance, but it quickly tapered off  to the point where it is no longer an issue. I no longer have any problem making a fool of myself in front of others. The fact is that everyone eats it now and then, we just need to get over the fear of that happening.

So the takeaway for today is just to make your student perform, like perform perform often. Make them practice the performance like you make them practice the music.
Thanks for watching. Maybe leave a comment of any cool performance ideas you have, or maybe the one about how you overcame your stage fright, or of course we can talk about it at lessons. If you haven’t already please ‘like’ the page and maybe share this video with others that might find it helpful. Thanks again, Lets hit it. 

Published inParent Tip Series

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